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Inside the Jaguars

Posted Dec 5, 2012

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts held out of practice Wednesday; team will work on defending Wildcat and possibility of Tim Tebow later in the week.

INJURY REPORT

Cecil Shorts missed practice Wednesday, with his status for Sunday still uncertain.

Shorts, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ leading receiver, passed his baseline concussion test Tuesday, but because he is still experiencing symptoms from a concussion sustained against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, he was held out of practice Wednesday.

“He’s not clear,” Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said Wednesday as the Jaguars (2-10) prepared to play the New York Jets (5-7) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

“Even though he’s passed the test, he hasn’t passed some of the symptoms, so he will be tested daily until we find out about him. There’s a lot of things that go into it.”

Running back Rashad Jennings and defensive end George Selvie, each of whom also sustained concussions Sunday, have not passed the baseline test, Mularkey said. Guard Mike Brewster also was held out of practice because of a broken hand sustained Sunday.

Brewster has not been ruled out for the Jets game.

Fullback Greg Jones (thigh), center Brad Meester (foot) and cornerback Aaron Ross (calf) also did not practice Wednesday, with cornerback Derek Cox (hamstring) and defensive end Austen Lane (foot) working limited.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) did not practice Wednesday and Mularkey said he remains “very questionable” to play Sunday.

Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (calf) and cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin) each worked full.

BATTLING BACK

Daryl Smith took another step Wednesday.

And if all continues as he hopes it will, that step eventually will lead to him playing in the Jaguars’ final two games this season.

“It’s just progressive steps to being able to play,” Smith said. “I’m excited.”

Smith, an outside linebacker and the team’s all-time leading tackler, practiced Wednesday for the first time since being placed on the injured reserved/designated for return list on October 25 with a groin injury. He was eligible to return to practice this week and could play in the final two games.

Smith, who has not played in a regular-season or preseason game this season, worked on a limited basis Wednesday.

“You put too much time and too much effort to not want to get back and play,” Smith said. “This year, I probably started working a month or two earlier than I usually work. All that work leads to playing games, and once the season’s over with, you’re back to it again. And all of that work is for what?

“Some guys don’t get to come back. I have a chance to, so for me, all of that work, it would be good for me to get back in.”

SANCHEZ TIME

The Jets on Wednesday announced that veteran Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback Sunday.

Sanchez, the Jets’ starter since 2009, was pulled during a 7-6 victory over Arizona Sunday in favor of backup Greg McElroy, but Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan confirmed Wednesday that Sanchez will start against the Jaguars.

Mularkey said he wasn’t surprised by the decision.

“I had a gut feeling it would be Mark Sanchez,” Mularkey said. “Why is that? I don’t know, but I just felt like it was going to be. Our plan isn’t going to be altered by whoever it was going to be. “

“We got a lot of the plan in. There’s a lot of the planning that goes on today.”

Speculation over the Jets’ quarterback situation had been a big story since Sunday, with Sanchez, McElroy and Tim Tebow all mentioned as possibilities. Tebow, acquired by the Jets from the Broncos in an offseason trade, missed Sunday’s game with a rib injury.

“We’re going in with the mindset whatever quarterback we have to face we are going to have to prepare the same way, so no shock for us,” Jaguars safety Dawan Landry said.

MULARKEY SAYS

“We really have not (had) a consistently, complementary game all year long. We’re still looking for it and the players know we’re looking for it. We’re going to try to get it at home in front of our fans.”

QB CHAD HENNE SAYS

“There’s definitely a comfort level. It’s only beneficial to get all the reps in practice, all the looks and just be a leader out there on offense. Hopefully, guys are looking toward me in the huddle to get things going and I want to be that guy to get things going. I definitely feel a lot more comfortable leadership-wise.

INSIDE SLANT

Tebow may nor may not play Sunday, but the Jaguars will prepare for the possibility. That means work this week against the Wildcat formation, which is the formation the Jets mostly have used when playing the former University of Florida and Nease High School quarterback this season. Mularkey said the Jaguars typically try to stay prepared for the formation, which emphasizes a quarterback running effectively from a shotgun formation. “Very few teams don’t have something similar to that,” Mularkey said. “Even if a team hasn’t shown it, we’ve got checks to get adjustments on it. We know that they run it obviously with Tebow.” Mularkey said the preparation against the Wildcat likely will take place later in the week, with practice squad wide receiver Mike Brown likely playing quarterback in the formation.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Jaguars will hold a non-padded practice Thursday and another Friday as they continue full preparations for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at EverBank Field.

QUICK HITS

* The Jaguars on Wednesday activated first-year fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou from the practice squad, and also signed tight end Isaiah Stanback and offensive tackle Andrew Mitchell to the practice squad. Ta’ufo’ou has played in four games for the Jaguars this season, starting one.

* Henne began preparations for the Jets Wednesday without the moustache he sported throughout November as part of his support for “Movember,” a nationwide initiative to promote prostate cancer awareness. He joked last week about keeping the moustache because the Jaguars had played well the final two games of November, but said his reason for shaving was more simple. “I knew my wife was kind of tired of it, so I just got rid of it,” Henne said.

* Sunday will mark the first time Landry has played a regular-season game against his brother, Jets safety LaRon Landry. The two practiced against one another and played preseason games when Dawan played for the Ravens and LaRon played for the Redskins, but Dawan this week called the first regular-season meeting, “a blessing.” “It’s pretty cool,” he said. “This is a little different, being regular season.” Mularkey said the brothers differ a bit in style, with “their Landry” playing in the box more. “He’s going to support the run,” he said. “They ask him to do some things differently than we do. He’s a good player, though.”

* With Brewster and Meester each not practicing, recently-signed Steve Vallos worked at center in practice Wednesday, Mularkey said, and veteran Eben Britton worked at guard.

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